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Newcastle Airport – the Epitomy of International

Funny old thing – I’ve never been to Newcastle Airport at night to pick someone up – despite having been there so many times it feels like my second home, I’ve always been the one travelling!

Tonight we went to pick up my nephew from the USA. He’s 20 and  he’s actually in Northern Ireland at the moment and decided to pay us a visit for a fiew days. Anyway, his flight from NI was supposed to be in at around 10pm and as is often the case, when we got to the airport it was delayed by 30 minutes. No problem, we thought, it’s a Saturday night, lots to do at the airport.

Except there wasn’t a SINGLE THING TO DO. 10pm on a Saturday night and the “International” airport was a like a GHOST TOWN. WH Smiths – closed. Greggs – closed. Shops – non-existant. Some of the car rental places were closed, the rest had cameras in place of people. If I were coming in from another country to the airport at that time of night I’d be thinking I’d landed somewhere in the THIRD WORLD.  Over at the “International arrivals” section the chairs are ripped, making it very clear to visitors that we’re in a recession and can’t afford to repair things.

When the flight came in Maureen was of course ready to finish off her coffee when I reminded her that it can take at least 10 minutes for the bags to come in… and for the first time I realised there is no indication externally of when the bags are on the treadmill – for what effort it would take to make that information available to visitors so we at least know when to expect travellers to emerge.

Interesting experience – marks out of ten? two!!! A FAR CRY from a truly international airport which would acknowledge passengers from different time zones and not look like a CEMETARY at the early time of 10pm on a Saturday night!!!!

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